The Nationals will be calling up right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to make another spot start on Saturday as they host the Atlanta Braves in the second of their three-game series.
Lopez, 22, will make his third start with the Nats. So far he's allowed nine earned runs in 8 2/3 big league innings with one start against the Dodgers and another against the Giants.
The Nats didn't need to call up a fifth starter for Saturday, even with Joe Ross sidelined with right shoulder inflammation. But the Nats felt this was a good spot for Lopez and a good time to give the rest of their rotation a rest.
"That’s his day and also this will be the last opportunity to give these other guys an extra day off, because this 20 in a row, at this time of year, it’s going to be very, very instrumental in how we end up. It’s also tough on your pitching staff," manager Dusty Baker said.
"Especially when you’re going to Colorado from here... I’ve been in that division over there and we would sweep them sometimes, but then the pitching staff is in a bad way when you leave from there, because you had to use everybody and never really feel comfortable and they play well there."
Lopez last pitched for the Nats on July 30. He made one minor league start with Triple-A Syracuse on Aug. 7 and gave up five earned runs in five innings of work.
Lopez has been part of a revolving door at the No. 5 spot in the Nats' rotation since Ross landed on the DL on July 3. They've also tried out top prospect Lucas Giolito, who has struggled much like Lopez.
Baker said the situation has not been ideal.
“I’d rather settle on one guy, but it depends on the person. If one guy steps up that would make our decision a lot easier. We’ll see, I mean, everybody likes a set program if you have one versus having to mix and match, but you do what you have to do," he said.
The Washington Post first reported Lopez' latest call-up.
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